10. Rooms and Houses

Harris Manchester College has signed up to, and is compliant with, Universities UK Accommodation Code of Practice. College accommodation is subject to the Licence to occupy. No student will be permitted to live in College accommodation who has not signed a licence to occupy.

Each room will be provided with (as a minimum) a single bed, wardrobe, desk, chair, bookshelves, notice board and desk lamp. Bed linen is provided weekly; students are responsible for changing their own beds. Towels are not provided.  All rooms have wash hand basins and the majority have en suite bathrooms. All rooms have internet access. Please note that single sex houses cannot be guaranteed.

Rooms will be inspected at the end of each term and any damage (other than normal wear and tear) will be charged to the student. Students will also be charged if the room is left in an untidy condition so that additional work on tidying and removal of belongings has to be done before the room can be used for conference guests.  Students will be charged £50 for any loss of  key.

Queries regarding student accommodation should be addressed to the Housekeeper & Accommodation Manager, Tina Knowles (2)71022, housekeeper@hmc.ox.ac.uk).

a. Room Allocation Policy
The room allocation policy has been set by the Governing Body. It is

  1. First year and final year undergraduates and first year postgraduates are given priority for rooms. Priority is also given to any student with a registered physical disability.
  2. There will then be a ballot for rooms for second year undergraduates, and also for third year students on four year courses.

iii.            First year graduate accommodation will be awarded by ballot.

  1. Returning graduates are not guaranteed rooms although if there are any available then those writing up or in their final year of a taught course will be given priority.

For this purpose students reading Graduate Entry Medicine will be considered Undergraduates in their 1st year and Graduates in their 2nd-4th years. They are considered 1st year graduates in the 2nd year of their course.

  1. Accommodation is not provided for part-time students though they may book a College guest rooms for short periods, subject to availability.

In the Hilary term current first- and second-year students are asked to state their preferred choice for the next year’s accommodation. It has usually proved possible to satisfy students’ requests with the following provisos:

Undergraduate students are not guaranteed accommodation for their second year of studies, although every effort will be made to accommodate all those who wish to live in. If rooms are oversubscribed there will be a ballot among second year students. As much notice as possible will be given to students who may have to live out. There is limited accommodation for graduate students: they are normally only accommodated in College in their first year (if room is available).

Students are not normally allowed to live in the same room for more than two of the three years.

30 Holywell is allocated to graduates, and an additional house may be designated a graduate house if numbers permit.

If any one house is oversubscribed, the Housekeeper will hold a ballot in the presence of a JCR officer

Remaining rooms are then carefully allocated to new students, taking into account such items as their height and any special requests they may have made.A payment in advance will be required to secure a room for the next academic year. Students reserving a room and then withdrawing are charged according to the ‘Financial Matters’ section of this Handbook.  

The College also reserves the right to refuse any student accommodation in college at any time.

The College reserves the right for members of staff, including the Housekeeper and the Maintenance Officer, to enter student rooms at any time, although access will normally be agreed with the occupant of the room.

The choice of room is not guaranteed, although staff will do their best to satisfy everyone.

b. Furniture and Fittings
The upholstered furniture in all houses meets the British Standard for fire retardation. Please do not bring any of your own upholstered furniture into College as it may increase the risk of fire and endanger you and others in College. For the same reason we require that students do not use candles, naked flames or any flammable substance in their rooms or elsewhere. Fines will be imposed on students found using candles in their rooms.

c. Cleaning
Each house is looked after by a ‘Scout’ under the direction of the College Housekeeper. Rooms and communal areas are serviced Monday – Friday and the Scouts have the right to clean each room at least twice per week. (See appendix for service agreement.)  The College recycles paper, cardboard, plastics, glass, cartons, aerosols, foil, food waste, batteries, mobile phones and toner cartridges. Facilities are provided and we expect that students and staff will participate in these schemes. Further details can be obtained from the Housekeeper.

d. Laundry
The launderette is located in Graham Pye Hall. The machines take top up cards which are available from the Housekeeper or the Bursary. The launderette contains both washers and dryers. Irons are not permitted in student rooms. Ironing facilities are available in the Conway Hall kitchen in the ironing room on the ground floor of Graham Pye Hall, and the entrance halls of Morrison and Wrigley, for all students, and in the 30 Holywell kitchen for graduate students only.

e. House Kitchens
Most houses have small kitchens where light meals can be prepared. The kitchens are for the use of living-in students only. Please provide your own utensils and crockery etc. Leave the kitchen clean and tidy after you have used it. Be aware of fire hazards and in particular, do not leave chip pans, frying pans or grills unattended. Food storage in the cupboards and fridges is at the students’ own risk. The College has provided a set of pans for the induction hob in the Graham Pye Hall kitchen: please do not remove them from this room.

f. Maintenance
Please report all faults to the Maintenance Officer, Mr David Seeney. Faults will be rectified as soon as possible and within the times set out in the Service Agreement (see Appendix). Please do not use Blutac, Sellotape or similar products on the walls. All rooms have pinboards and the maintenance staff are pleased to assist with the securing of posters and pictures. Desk lamps are provided in each room and are designed to take a bulb of 60 watts (replacement bulbs of a higher wattage can present a fire hazard). Replacement bulbs are available from the Bursary Office. Heating and lighting is supplied in rooms: students are not permitted to supply their own additional heating. Please do take care of your room for the sake of those that come after you. Making good any damage other than fair wear and tear may be charged to your account.

g.  Electrical Regulations
It is the responsibility of each individual student to ensure that all the electrical appliances they bring into college are safe. It is College policy to test all portable electrical appliances at the beginning of each academic year. All students are requested to make all such appliances available for testing. If you have any doubts, please contact the Maintenance Officer for advice.

Each appliance must be fitted with a 13-amp plug BS 1363 with sleeved pins and a fuse not exceeding 13 amps. Plugs on radios, lamps and other lightly loaded appliances should be fitted with 3 amp or 5 amp fuses.

American appliances designed for 110v should not be used on our 240v system. If in doubt, please consult a member of the college Maintenance Team before plugging anything in to avoid costly mistakes and fire hazards.

Please do not interfere with electrical fittings, connect appliances to a lighting circuit, or use two or three plug adapters plugged directly into socket outlets. Multi-way boards may be used providing approval has been obtained from the Maintenance Officer. No cooking is allowed in rooms other than boiling kettles.

The following are not allowed to be brought into College: electric blankets, electric fires or heaters, electric guitars, electric irons, refrigerators, microwaves, electric toasters, electric (or gas) cooking appliances other than a kettle.

If you have your own television, you must provide your own licence, as the College does not have a licence to cover TV sets in individual student rooms. The licensing authorities do conduct periodic checks for individual TVs.  Please note that a TV licence is required to watch iPlayer.

Please be environmentally aware and turn off lights and electrical devices when they are not required.

h. Vacations

In common with all undergraduate Colleges we let College rooms during vacations in order to provide much-needed income for the College. Vacation accommodation is only available to

  • Postgraduates on research courses
  • MBA students
  • PGCEs, Clinical medical students and those on the graduate-entry medical course, who may apply for accommodation for their extended term dates.
  • Undergraduate finalists who live in may apply for accommodation in the Easter vacation leading up to their finals.
  • Undergraduates and postgraduates on taught courses with university examinations falling outside standard term dates.
  • All living-in students must hand in their room keys at the end of each term [or in the case of those on a 9 month licence to occupy at the end of the licence to occupy period].
  • The College reserves the right to ask any student entitled to remain in College over vacations to move to an alternative room.
  • Graduate students who have opted for a 9 month licence to occupy are permitted to reside in College during the Christmas and Easter vacations. Students may not sublet their rooms, even to other Harris Manchester students.
  • Students living out of College are not permitted to use the bathrooms, laundry room and student kitchens at any time. These facilities are only available during the vacations to those students permitted to stay in college: students who live in college during the term cannot use them in vacations.
  • Facilities in all College buildings (other than the Library) are not available to students during the vacation.
  • The College cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage incurred. Valuables may be stored in the College safe by arrangement with the College Office.
  • Please ensure that cupboards and walls of your room are clear of all possessions at the end of term. Wardrobes must not be kept locked during the vacation. There is a small amount of storage for possessions of overseas students during the vacations – please consult the Housekeeper if you are an overseas student and wish to leave any belongings over the vacation (subject to space availability)All other students are required to ensure that their possessions are removed from the College site for the duration of the vacations. If exceptional circumstances arise which make this impossible, you should consult the Housekeeper by Monday of 7th week. Any possessions left in College without the consent of the Housekeeper will be thrown away.
  • All other students must vacate their rooms by the time stated on Saturday of 8th week each term.
  • Anyone requiring vacation accommodation must complete and return the relevant form (available from the Accommodation Manager) by the stated deadline and sign the regulations concerning vacation accommodation. Late returns will not be accepted. The rules governing vacation residence can be found in Part 2.

i. Mail
Your mail will be kept in the lodge in the main building; for this reason it is important to observe all the rules relating to the security of this area.  Pigeon holes may not be used for commercial purposes and it is not permitted to post any correspondence which isn’t addressed by name unless prior permission is sought from a member of the Bursary staff.

 j. Security
Students will be able to access the college grounds at all times through the Navapan Gate using their University card with swipe access. Using your card you will also be able to access the main building and Library at all times during full term-from Monday of week 1 to Friday of week 8, and at other times from 8am until 10pm when the Library closes. Please carry your card at all times as you will need this to access the Library.

If you are the last to leave the Library, the JCR or the cloakroom after dinner, please switch off the lights.The front door is open on Mondays to Fridays from 8.30am until after dinner on weekdays and guests may ring the bell until 11.00pm on Monday to Saturday and the Porter will let them in.  The front door remains locked at the weekend except on Saturday mornings from 9.00am-12noon and Sunday mornings from 9.30am-1.00pm when the weekend porter is on duty.

The door from Alister Hardy onto Mansfield Road should be kept locked at all times, and doors from the Holywell houses onto Holywell Street should only be used as fire exits. The doors to the rear of each house should also be kept locked. Please be aware of the high risk in Oxford of ‘walk-in’ thefts and keep your room door locked at all times. The College insurance does not cover loss of student property and the College does not accept any responsibility for loss or damage. You are strongly advised to insure your own personal property and belongings. The College is unable to accept responsibility for the property of students or staff which is brought into the College precincts. The Bursary staff are happy to store valuables such as travellers’ cheques, passports etc. in the College safe.

Bicycles should always be locked when not in use. Bikes may only be kept in the designated cycle racks behind Sekyra House and behind Morrison house. All bikes kept in College must be registered at the Bursary Office and a security tag obtained and displayed on your bike. The College reserves the right to remove any bikes not displaying the necessary security tag.

k. Guests
You may accommodate a guest in your own room at no charge. If you do so, you must be responsible for the guest’s sleeping arrangements. If you require bedding this can be provided at a charge of £5.00 for each occasion and should be obtained from the Housekeeper. Bookings should be done through the Bursary Office. Alternatively a College guestroom, if available, may be booked for guests at the current rate. Whichever arrangement you adopt, guests and length of stay should be registered with the Bursary staff before arrival. For security and fire safety purposes, the College needs to have a record of everyone who is staying in College.

You may only accommodate one guest in your room at any time.  Each student has a ‘guest allowance’ of seven nights in any one term, which you may divide between one or more guests as you wish. It is not permitted for guests to stay during Freshers’ Week (0th Week of Michaelmas Term).  You may not accommodate a guest in your room if you are absent from College. Guests should not be left to cook for themselves in the house kitchens, and while in the main building and in the dining room they must be accompanied by a member of College; they may only take meals for which they have been signed-in. You are responsible for familiarising your guests with the College’s instructions on fire safety and security.

l. Quiet Room
A communal room is provided in Navapan Hall for the use of all student members in term time only. This is designated as a Quiet Room for general relaxation and casual ‘get togethers’. The Quiet Room is kept locked . The key can be signed out from the Bursary only with prior booking and up until 11.00pm and must be returned to the Bursary no later than 10.00am on the following day. The member signing out the key will be deemed to be responsible for the room whilst he/she holds the key and should ensure that the rules governing the use of the room should be strictly observed. It is not permitted to pass the key to a student member other than the one who has signed out the key.  Everyone will receive an electronic copy of the rules at the start of the Academic Year and we take non-compliance very seriously.

m. Parking
It is a condition of the city council that no parking should be available in College for junior members.   This includes evenings and weekends. There is no longer any unrestricted parking in the streets round College. It is possible to park in some of the side roads to the north of the University Parks, but these are increasingly by permit only. If you can manage without a car then do not bring one to Oxford as so many are broken into or stolen.

n. College Grounds
We are very fortunate to have pleasant College grounds. Please do all you can to protect this environment and do not cut across the lawns, especially in wet weather. Please do not leave glasses and rubbish on the lawns.